Regular radioactive releases into water, air are “normal” says nuclear industry
Radiological releases are an inevitable part of the nuclear power industry
“Dilution is not the solution to radioactive pollution,” “It rather guarantees a chronic exposure over years and decades to tritium, a known cause of cancer, birth defects and genetic damage, to all those who drink Lake Michigan water.”
Release of nuclear plant ‘effluents’ into lake described as part of normal cycle Opinions differ on safety of practice Harbor Country News By Andrew Lersten July 17, 2013 COVERT — The May 5 release of about 80 gallons of slightly radioactive water from the Palisades nuclear power plant into Lake Michigan was unusual because it wasn’t planned.
But the incident brought into focus what many Southwest Michigan residents likely didn’t realize: The region’s two nuclear power plants (Palisades and the Donald C. Cook Plant in Lake Township) routinely discharge radioactive material into the air and into Lake Michigan.
In the nuclear industry, it’s called effluents. The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows such releases, as long as they are closely monitored and do not exceed federal radiation release standards set in place by the NRC.
“Plants need to discharge small amounts of radioactive materials to operate,” said Jack Geissner, branch chief for the regional NRC office.
John Cassidy is a senior health physicist for the NRC regional office in Lisle, Ill. His job is to perform radiation inspections at the regional plants and study plants’ dosimetry records. Dosimeters measure absorbed doses of radiation.
Radiological releases are an inevitable part of the nuclear power industry, he said.
“They would like to recycle as much as possible of their radioactive water, but there’s business needs. That’s just part of the operating cycle.”………..
“There’s a continuous gaseous effluent all the time,” he said.
A plant shutdown also results in the release of steam that contains small traces of tritium, regardless if it was a planned shutdown, he said.
Kevin Kamps of the anti-nuclear group Beyond Nuclear is critical of the NRC’s stance regarding releases of radioactive effluents into Lake Michigan
Releases are made into Lake Michigan, the radiation quickly is diluted by the amount of water in the lake down to very low levels.
But Kamps characterizes the NRC’s philosophy as “dilution is the solution to radioactive pollution.” “Dilution is not the solution to radioactive pollution,” Kamps said. “It rather guarantees a chronic exposure over years and decades to tritium, a known cause of cancer, birth defects and genetic damage, to all those who drink Lake Michigan water.”
All nuclear power plants along large bodies of water – such as Lake Michigan – routinely discharge slightly radioactive water. These effluent releases are called “batch releases.”
For the NRC, the general rule of thumb is that a nuclear power plant will have 20 to 40 annual batch releases, per reactor…… http://www.harborcountry-news.com/articles/2013/08/13/news/doc51e68d033453f499112136.txt
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